Road trips are ideal for exploring New Zealand. Though the country is small, the roads of the place are very well maintained. Further, you can rent cars, campervans, etc. at affordable costs. If you can afford, you can buy and own these vehicles also. The best advantage of taking road trips is that you can enjoy the most beautiful scenery of the place. Even a drive of about three hours is enough to enjoy the beauty of the white-sand beaches, the snow-clad peaks, the glaciers and the thick rain-forests of the country. You should emulate tourists who are from those countries eligible for ESTA and who visit US for their vacation and visit New Zealand for having great road-trips and enjoying the scenic beauty of the country.
The general opinion of tourists is that New Zealand is an expensive place but, roads trips may be quite affordable and budget-friendly. If you take these trips for enjoying the beautiful scenery of the place, you are certain to retain the nostalgic memories of your visit to this country. You may want to know the top 5 tourist drives of the country and so, let us try to find out.
This road, called the SH6, connects Westport and Greymouth and lies along the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand.
If you drive along this road, you can enjoy the most beautiful scenery in the country. When you drive along, the Tasman Sea will suddenly appear on the right and the snow-clad Southern Alps will stand majestically on the left side.
Since the area is one among the wettest of the country, it is better you choose a sunny day. But, you need not be very much obstinate about this point. You can choose to spend a day at Punakaiki that houses the highly fascinating Pancake Rocks.
After reaching Greymouth, if you want, you can visit the Franz Josef Glacier by continuing along the SH6. You can reach this glacier by taking the train of Trans-Scenic Railway that crosses the Southern Alps and goes to Christchurch.
Experts on New Zealand tourism rank this among the greatest drives of the entire world. If you drive for about 2 hours from Te Anau towards Milford Sound, you can observe that the road is passing through thick rainforests, mirror lakes and the moss-covered mountains and is running along cliff faces.
In this area of the country, people do the measurement of rains in meters. If you take your road trip just after a rain, you can see the most beautiful and cascading waterfalls from the mountains.
There is a 1200-metre tunnel on this drive and it is known as Homer Tunnel. Before you enter this tunnel and when you stop at the traffic light, you will suddenly realize that you are in a glacier-carved amphitheater and tall sheer-rock cliffs are standing majestically on both the sides.
View over Queenstown
This drive, that is in the Southern-lakes region of New Zealand’s South Island, is known as New Zealand’s playground because it has every adventure sport a tourist may desire to enjoy such as skiing, bungy-jumping, white-water rafting, etc. Especially, the drive between Wanaka and Queenstown along the Cardrona Pass is ranked among the best of South Island.
After you leave Wanaka, you will find that the road gradually climbs and before it passes through Cardrona, you can see the New Zealand’s highly photographed pub.
The road after Cardrona is very steep and you will come across many twists and turns, after crossing which, you can have the grand view of Queenstown, Wakatipu Lake and the mountain range called Remarkable.
Though most drive-enthusiasts may not consider this as a great drive, a large number of tourism experts opine that this drive should also be included in the list of the top tourist drives of the country.
After leaving Christchurch, you will be passing through the countryside of Canturbury where you can view the Southern Alps that majestically splits the South Island into two parts. This road will ultimately lead to the Pacific Ocean. The road lies along the coast and leads into Kaikoura. If you stop to look around some of the rocks, you can have a glimpse of fur seals of the country, if you are lucky.
You can have your night sojourn at Kaikoura and after that, you can continue your road trip for watching the gigantic Sperm-Whales. If you want to taste the best Souvignon Blancs, you can continue your trip and go to Marlborough.
Unlike the other drives, this is a North Island drive. You will observe that the region provides a lot of relaxation to your mind because there are mountains, beautiful and sandy beaches, rolling hills with a lot of greenery, picturesque bays, etc. in this region. Especially, you will enjoy your drive from Thames to Coromandel the most.
There are many twists-and-turns on the narrow roads if you continue your drive along the Hauraki Gulf coastline.
If you take your trip when the sun sets during December, you can enjoy the beauty of just-bloomed pohutukawas. Once you continue along the climbing road, you can have the superb views of Coromandel Harbor that is island-dotted.